Date/Time Event
Monday, 9th December
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Nicola Monaghan - Nottingham crime fiction launch

Nicola Monaghan celebrates her wedding anniversary with the launch of her new book  as Niki Valentine. It’s set in Nottingham, over on Cliff Road, just the other side of Broad Marsh centre (in fact, the area formerly known as Narrow Marsh).

“Hardened by ten years on the murder squad, DNA analyst Doctor Sian Love has seen it all. So when she finds human remains in the basement of her new home, she knows the drill. Except this time it’s different. This time, it’s personal… A page-turning cold case investigation.”

Nicola Monaghan writes under her own name and as Niki Valentine. She teaches creative writing at De Montfort University.

We don’t often invite people to wedding anniversaries, at least not when human remains are involved, but sometimes we make exceptions. Come and join us.

Free, refreshments provided. Let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 12th December
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Primo Levi, with Ian Thomson - Few places left... book!

On 11 April 1987, the Italian writer Primo Levi fell to his death in the house where he was born. More than forty years after his rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, it now seemed that Levi had committed suicide. Levi’s account of Auschwitz, If This Is A Man is recognised as one of the essential books of humanity. No other work interrogates our recent moral history so incisively or conveys more profoundly the horror of the Nazi genocide. Written with great urgency to bear witness, the book put Levi among the foremost writers of our time.

Ian Thomson spent over ten years in Italy and elsewhere researching and writing about Levi. He traced the daughter of Levi’s German superior at Auschwitz along with scores of other witnesses. New light is shed on Levi’s recurring depressions and new information is unearthed regarding the writer’s premature death. A witty, resilient man, Levi had suffered dark moods long before he deported. The suicide of his grandfather, niney-nine years earlier, is chronicled for the first time. Thomson unravels the strands of a life caught between the factory and the typewriter, family and friends.

Ian Thomson is senior lecturer in creative non-fiction at the University of East Anglia

Tickets: £4.00 (students £2.00) including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 16th December
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves open book group discusses the Booker prize winner, well, one of them...

I guess the Booker judges did not have us in mind when they decided to share first prize between Margaret Atwood for The Testaments and Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other as our December book group was to be on the Booker winner, whatever that was…

Well, we can’t assume everyone has time or wishes to read both, so we are going for…. Girl, Woman, Other.  Bernardine Evaristo’s novel comprises the stories of twelve Black women, of different ages, sexualities and experiences. Come let us know what you think.

We don’t mind how you source the book, but in the lead up to the event we offer 15% off book group books. Our book group is quite open – you can attend one meeting only, every now and again or every single one.  There’s a short introduction followed by a discussion.

Free, refreshments included. Let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Saturday, 11th January
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
World Jam global poetry and music

World Jam is delighted to be presenting readings at Five Leaves, from their inaugural World Jam Anthology. Expect poetry from all corners of Nottingham, in a variety of languages, presented in a variety of styles. And with some acoustic music.  And, of course, you will be able to purchase your copy of the World Jam Anthology on the day too.

World Jam is an inter-cultural and multilingual group of writers, poets and performers with the aim of bringing different nationalities and cultures together. Performers to be announced.

Ticket price tbc, but please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 22nd January
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Not Working - why we have to stop, with Josh Cohen

‘To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world.’ Oscar Wilde

More than ever before, we live in a culture that demonizes idleness. Work, connectivity and a constant flow of information are the norms, and a permanent busyness pervades even our quietest moments. Little wonder so many of us are burning out. In a culture that tacitly coerces us into blind activity, the art of doing nothing is disappearing. Inactivity can induce lethargy and indifference, but is also a condition of imaginative freedom.

Psychoanalyst Josh Cohen explores the pleasures of inactivity, and considers four faces of inertia – the burnout, the slob, the daydreamer and the slacker. Drawing on his personal experiences and on stories from his consulting room, while punctuating his discussions with portraits of figures associated with the different forms of inactivity – Andy Warhol, Orson Welles, Emily Dickinson and David Foster Wallace – Cohen gets to the heart of the apathy so many of us feel when faced with the demands of contemporary life, and asks how we might live a different and more fulfilled existence.

Josh Cohen teaches at Goldsmiths

Entry: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments. Let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 23rd January
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Common People: an anthology of working-class writers - Five Leaves open book group

Common People, edited by Kit de Waal (Unbound, £9.99) is an anthology celebrating working class fiction, poetry and memoir…. from the woman at the bus stop, the hairdresser, the waiter… 33 established and emerging writers including Malorie Blackman, Daljit Nagra, Cathy Rentzenbrink and Anita Sethi have contributed to this anthology, indicating that of course that the modern working class is multi-cultural, which brings different dimensions to the story.

Five Leaves Book Group is open, so come as often as you like – once, sometimes, every time. There’s a short introduction to the book, followed by a discussion. You can source the book wherever you like, but in the lead up to the meeting we offer 15% discount on the title in question. All we ask is that you read the book in advance and be prepared to discuss it.

Our book groups are always free and refreshments are provided. Do let us know you are coming on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 27th January
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves' open book group extra - Discourse on Colonisation, by Aime Cesaire

The short essay, Discourse on Colonialism was first published in French in 1955 and influenced a generation of scholars and activists in the liberation struggles in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Twenty years later, when published in English, it inspired a generation engaged in the Civil Rights, Black Panther and anti-war movements.

This session is introduced by Deanne Bell from Nottingham Trent University, who is part of the “What is Decoloniality?” project.

Five Leaves open book group discusses fiction and non-fiction, and is open to all to either attend one particular book discussion, come every now and again, or come every time! As well as our monthly general group, in 2020 we will have a Nottingham reading group and, like this one, a book group “extra” every now and again for weighty and topical subjects.

Book group books are available in advance at 15% discount, but we don’t mind how you source the books. All we ask is that you read the book in advance and take part in the discussion.

Free, refreshments provided. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 30th January
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Clever Girls: Autoethnographies of Class, Gender and Ethnicity

Do join us to launch Clever Girls, with editor Jackie Goode and contributors Sarah Ward, Nell Farrell, Liz Thomas and Panya Banjoko

This collection by three generations of women from predominantly working-class backgrounds explores the production of the classed, gendered and racialized subject with powerful, engaging, funny and moving stories of transitions through family relationships, education, friendships and work.  The collection illustrates the potential of autoethnography as research method and creative practice to illuminate the commonalities of experiences of growing up as ‘clever girls’ and to sound a call to action against inequality and discrimination.

We will have copies of Clever Girls available at a very special discount tonight and in advance of the meeting.

Free, refreshments provided. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Sunday, 2nd February
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Afternoon tea with Bertie

The philosopher and political activist Bertrand Russell died fifty years ago today.

We will celebrate his life with afternoon tea (something he favoured) with a talk on Russell, emphasising his connections to Nottingham.

Speaker: Tony Simpson (Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation), who will be joined by Tom Unterrainer (also BRPF) and Alva White who will talk about why Russell is worth reading today. We will also play some rare recordings of Bertie, so that he is with us on the day.

Tickets: £5 including tea and cake, and a complementary copy of The Spokesman journal – a special issue devoted to Bertrand Russell

Let us know you are coming on

Here’s Bertie with James Baldwin, and a slightly more extravagant tea than we might be offering!

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 3rd February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five weeks of anarchy, with Ruth Kinna

Night school…

We invite you to a five session evening class, taught by Ruth Kinna. Full details to be announced soon, but sessions run weekly for five weeks.

The course will cover anarchism in history, in practice and internationally.

Ruth Kinna teaches at the University of Loughborough. She has edited and written a number of books on anarchism including The Government of No One: the theory and practice of anarchism and is on the editorial board of Anarchist Studies.

Cost – advance tickets £16.00 (£10.00 unwaged) for five sessions, or £4.00 (£3.00) unwaged per week. We would encourage you to sign up for the whole five sessions. Light refreshments provided.

Tickets available from the bookshop, or let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 4th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Island Child, with Molly Aitken

Twenty years ago, Oona left the island of Inis for the very first time. A wind-blasted rock of fishing boats and turf fires, where girls stayed in their homes until they became mothers themselves, the island was a gift for some, a prison for others. Oona was barely more than a girl, but promised herself she would leave the tall tales behind and never return.

The Island Child tells two stories: of the girl who grew up watching births and betrayals, storms and secrets, and of the adult Oona, desperate to find a second chance, only to discover she can never completely escape. As the strands of Oona’s life come together, in blood and marriage and motherhood, she must accept the price we pay when we love what is never truly ours …

Molly Aitken will be reading from her debut Irish novel and in conversation with Deirdre O’Byrne from Five Leaves Bookshop/Nottingham Irish Studies Group. Molly was born in Scotland in 1991 and brought up in Ireland. She studied Literature and Classics at Galway University.

Tickets: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments, and redeemable against any purchase on the night.

Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 5th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
It gets me home... writing about music with Ian Penman

When all else fails, when our compass breaks, there is one thing we can rely on: music.

Ian Penman is a legendary music critic and he will be reading from and talking about It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track, his first book for twenty years. His cast of characters includes James Brown, Elvis Presley, Charlie Parker, Frank Sinatra… he writes about black artists who were innovators and white musicians who copied them. He writes about a damaged America, its venality, its conformities, its racism.

Ian will be in conversation with former music journalist Graham Caveney, of this parish.

Tickets: £4 (£2 students) including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 12th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Shoestring poetry in translation night

Do join us for an evening of poetry in translation from Chinese, German and Italian

Matthew Barton  has created a new version of Rilke’s Duino Elegies which was a mountain of a work, a literary achievement that has enthralled and sometimes baffled its readers. Its author wrestled with it over more than ten years, finally completing it in a tumultuous creative ferment in 1922. It comes to new life in this edition by Matthew Barton,  poet and professional translator, who is attuned as much to its rhythms and music as its meanings, and seeks to recreate the molten flow of Rilke’s lines.

A selection of versions of poems by the great Italian poet, Eugenio Montale, by Leicester poet, Roy Marshall who has read from his own collections in the bookshop. Roy has been working on these translations for three years.







Martin Stannard has been publishing poetry and criticism for some 40 years. He was founding editor and publisher of joe’s soap’s canoe (1978–93) and poetry editor of Decals of Desire (2016–7).  His most recent full-length collection is Poems for the Young at Heart (Leafe Press) and a chapbook, Items, was published by Red Ceilings in August 2018. He taught at a university in China for more than a decade from 2005, during which time he began working on producing English language versions of poems from China’s classic Tang period.

Entry: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on



Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 13th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Me and white supremacy, with Layla Saad

Layla Saad – in Britain for a short tour – focuses on the different manifestations of white supremacy, including white privilege, white fragility and white silence.  Her talk is targeted at anyone with white privilege, and explores how it can be dismantled.

Layla challenges people to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of colour, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

As an East African, Arab, British, Black, Muslim woman who was born and grew up in the West, and lives in Middle East, Layla has always sat at a unique intersection of identities from which she is able to draw rich and intriguing perspectives.

Entrance: £4.00 (students £2.00) including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 18th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry from Helen Mort

Not quite sure how Helen Mort has not read in the shop before, but here she is now!

Helen Mort won the Foyles Young Poet of the Year *five* times before going on the write two collections for Chatto, Division Street – many of the poems reflect her background in the Yorkshire mining area – and No Map Could Show Them, the theme of which was on women and mountaineering.

Subsequently Helen has published one novel with Chatto, Black Car Burning, and a set of stories,  Exire, with Wrecking Ball. She lives in Sheffield and teaches creative writing at Manchester Met.

This is a Nottingham Poetry Society event.

Tickets: £4 (£2.00 students).  Reservations essential from

Refreshments provided

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 25th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Geoff Nicholson in conversation

Geoff Nicholson will Nicholson will be in conversation with Nottingham writer and Nottingham Trent lecturer David Belbin. Nicholson,  Sheffield-born, was until recently a resident of Los Angeles. He will be talking about his seventeen, idiosyncratically satirical novels, from Street Sleeper through to the recent The Miranda, whose subject matter – a man who walks a thousand miles in his back yard – links to his best known non-fiction, Walking in Ruins and The Lost Art of Walking, which he will also read from and discuss. His ‘Hollywood Walker’ blog is at

This event is organised by Nottingham Trent University Creative Writing Hub

Free, refreshments included. Please let us know you are coming on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 1st April
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Keeping Time, with Thomas Legendre

A crumbling marriage. An ancient mystery. And a way to change the past . . . When archaeologist Aaron Keeler finds himself transported eighteen years backward in time, he becomes swept up in a strangely illicit liaison with his younger wife. A brilliant musician, Violet is captivated by the attentive but weathered version of her husband. The Aaron she recently married–an American expat–had become distant, absorbed by his excavation of a prehistoric site at Kilmartin Glen on Scotland’s west coast…

Do join us to launch Thomas Legendre’s new  time slip novel, Keeping Time.

Thomas lives between Edinburgh and Nottingham, and teaches creative writing at the University of Nottingham.

Free, refreshments included. Do let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 9th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sophie Labelle - Serious Trans Vibes


Sophie Labelle is a Canadian author, cartoonist, and public speaker. She is transgender and known for her webcomic Assigned Male detailing her experiences as a trans woman. She is active in the transgender rights movement and speaks on the subjects of trans history and transfeminism.

Tonight will be a mixture of standup comedy and, well, if we said that she wrote the comic Dating Tips for Trans and Queer Weirdos… you might get the right idea.

This will be a ticketed event with tickets being £8 (£4 for those without a wage), including refreshments.  Contact us on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 14th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power with Lola Olufemi

A Feminist Book Fortnight event

More than just a slogan on a t-shirt, feminism is a radical tool for fighting back against structural violence and injustice. Feminism, Interrupted is a bold call to seize feminism back from the cultural gatekeepers and return it to its radical roots.

Lola Olufemi explores state violence against women, the fight for reproductive justice, transmisogyny, gendered Islamophobia and solidarity with global struggles, showing that the fight for gendered liberation can change the world for everybody when we refuse to think of it solely as women’s work. Including testimonials from Sisters Uncut, migrant groups working for reproductive justice, prison abolitionists and activists involved in the international fight for Kurdish and Palestinian rights, Olufemi emphasises the link between feminism and grassroots organising.

Reclaiming feminism from the clutches of the consumerist, neoliberal model, Feminism, Interrupted shows that when ‘feminist’ is more than a label, it holds the potential for radical transformative work.

Author bio: 
Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and organiser from London. She has written and spoken at numerous events about feminism and decolonisation across the country, and was a member of the NUS Women’s Campaign and NUS National Executive Committee. She is the author of Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Pluto Press, 2019).
Book  information
Feminism Interrupted is published in the Outspoken series from Pluto Press. The series gives a platform to underrepresented voices and aim to be books that dissent.

Tickets: £4 including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 4th June
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A People's History of Tennis, with David Berry

Tennis is not the first sport that comes to mind when you think of socialism and sport, but between the wars there were masses of workers’ tennis clubs, set up in opposition to what was seen as a middle-class sport, with an annual competition sponsored by the TUC. These faded, postwar, but other issues arose within the sport, often to do with gender, sexuality and race. There were campaigns for equality in prize money and tennis players from Arthur Ashe onward literally changed the face of the game. In recent times many prominent women tennis players were out lesbians at a time it was difficult to be out, particularly in sport.

David Berry is a writer and a journalist, and has played tennis since the age of eleven

Entrance: £4 (£2 students), includes refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
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